Why Humans Love to Learn
Learning something new is exciting. Studies show that many people experience dopamine spikes when they learn new things because their brain sees it as completing an exciting challenge or adventure. This leaves them feeling rewarded, thus motivated to learn even more.
All of that is great. It’s part of the reason that humans are the most dominant species on the planet. But when does learning start to become counterproductive?
Always Learning, Never Executing.
Is this you?
Yes, learning is important, and yes, learning is one of the more productive things you can do with your time, but it’s important to check yourself every so often and ask whether or not you’re spending so much time researching and learning because you’re fearful of taking action.
It’s easy to say that you haven’t had time to start a blog because you’ve still got a few more courses to complete (hello, this is me).
It’s easy to say that you can’t start your photography business because you’re in the middle of yet another how-to book.
It’s much harder to actually start said blog or launch said photography business.
But success doesn’t happen when your nose is buried in a book. There comes a point when you have to get real with yourself, put the book down, and jump into action.
Go Nike On ‘em
Don’t use learning as an excuse not to execute.
Research (and common sense) tells us that practicing a skill makes you better at it. When you practice, you not only get to use the knowledge that you’ve been compiling, but you also get to figure out what does and doesn’t work for you.
- Watching videos about working out will not make you stronger.
- Doing a course on how to perfect your sales pitch will not magically sell your product.
- Talking to yet another writer about how they got started will not get your book finished.
Eventually, you have to just jump in.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love challenging myself to learn new things, and I absolutely understand that it’s important to be knowledgeable about whatever it is you want to pursue. But I also recognize that I often spend a ton of time learning about things that I’m interested in, but never actually do them.
Remember that while you can learn while practicing, you can’t really practice while learning. So if you’ve been using learning as a crutch, it’s time to put your skills to the test and get started on that project you’ve been spending so much time reading about.
Sure, you may not be great at it right now, but reading another book on it won’t make you any better. Experience takes the cake when it comes to mastering any craft. So get going.